By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
The Young Bucks vs. The Varsity Blonds for the AEW Tag Titles: The match is exactly what it needed to be with the young Blonds team looking impressive before the heel champions put them away. The post match angle was a lot of fun with Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston stealing the pricey Dior shoes that we’ve heard so much about in recent weeks. Kingston appeared to have far more shoe stealing experience than Moxley, as he impressively removed Nick Jackson’s shoes and socks before Moxley was able to even untie one of Matt Jackson’s shoes.
Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal: A very well worked opening match between a pair of veterans. Cage going over clean was the right call. AEW doesn’t get enough credit for delivering as many clean finishes as they do. It would have been easy to have Team Taz interfere to avoid having Sydal take the loss, but they waited until after the match to run the beatdown angle that put heat on the heels. And that post match angle effectively set up the Casino Battle Royale as well as the Brian Cage vs. Hangman Page match.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens: A big thumbs up to the Major League version of “Wild Thing” being used for Moxley and Kingston’s entrance. I say f— you, Jobu! Anyway, Caster delivered his best rap yet with the comical, yet heat seeking line about Moxley’s wife Renee Paquette, which triggered the rightful beatdown from Moxley to start the match. I am surprised that Moxley and Kingston plowed through a top ranked teams in order to get the title shot at the pay-per-view given that Matt Jackson made it seem like the Bucks were facing the Blonds out of rankings obligation whereas they simply wanted the match with Moxley and Kingston. Nevertheless, it was a good night for Moxley and Kingston, and The Acclaimed looked good in defeat and have really grown on me since they were first put together.
Serena Deeb vs. Red Velvet for the NWA Women’s Championship: This was Deeb’s first match back since having her knee scoped and she was as impressive as ever. Red Velvet continues to make the most of her Dynamite time and seems to improve with each outing. This was the only thing on the show that didn’t seem to build to something announced for the pay-per-view, which left me wondering if we’ll get an NWA Women’s Championship match on the pre-show.
Anthony Ogogo vs. Austin Gunn: A nice showcase win for Ogogo. Gunn played his part well by showing good fire to start the match and by effectively selling Ogogo’s offense. I can’t say that any of this really moved me in terms of making me more excited about Ogogo’s pay-per-view match with Cody Rhodes. Fortunately, there are more than enough other matches to like on the Double or Nothing lineup that the toothless USA vs. England based match won’t be counted on to sell the event. Hopefully the actual match will be able to pump some life into the feud.
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Rebel in an eliminator match: The expected dominant win for Shida followed by a heat generating attack by Britt Baker. I suspect that most Dynamite regulars were sold on Shida vs. Baker when the match was first announced like I was, so it’s fine to dedicate more time to building up the other matches.
AEW Dynamite Misses
None: A very good edition of Dynamite with nearly every segment effectively building toward the pay-per-view. There was plenty of good in-ring action, and they found more time than usual for mic work from the wrestlers, which is always a plus in my book. I enjoyed Kenny Omega and Don Callis trying to convince Orange Cassidy to drop out of the AEW Championship match, the Miro and Lance Archer verbal exchange, Frankie Kazarian’s fiery promo, and it was nice to hear from the Varsity Blonds.